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How to choose the right pet for you

choosing the right pet for you
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Pets can make great additions to the family with children and adults alike getting loads of benefits from them. If you’re considering getting a pet you may be a bit unsure of which type of animal to opt for and how to go about choosing the perfect companion. You’ll be responsible for your new pet for the duration of its lifetime so choosing it isn’t a decision to be made lightly. The lifestyle and demands of the whole family need to be taken into account as well as those of the animal itself.

Your home

The first thing to consider is the size of animal you are prepared and able to look after. If you live in a small place with little scope for getting outside then a big dog may not be the right choice for you. Likewise, if the thought of vacuuming up hair and cleaning out litter trays leaves you feeling pretty cold then a cat will probably not be the perfect pet. If you rent your accommodation it’s best to check with your landlord that pets are permitted before committing to anything.

Your family

how to choose the right pet for you Talk to everyone in the house to see what preferences they have. If you’re looking for a small pet for children to take care of then a hamster or guinea pig can be a great choice. Whatever type of pet you decide on, you need to make sure it will be welcomed by the whole family and that the animal is happy living alongside children.

Lifestyle

Some pets need loads of attention while others are quite happy to be left alone for a few hours at a time. The kind of lifestyle you lead will have an enormous impact on the pet that is right for your family. Consider things like how long the animal will be left alone for during the day and who would look after it if you’re away on holiday. If you’re more of a couch potato than a keen walker, take this into account when making your decision. Don’t rely on the rest of the family to be the main carers – no matter how much children and teenagers promise they’ll take a dog out for all its walks, the novelty will soon wear off and you’ll be left doing it yourself.

Commitment

Rabbits live up to ten years while dogs and cats can be around for up to 15 years or more. As well as the number of years your pet will be part of the family, you also need to commit to spending time every day showing it love and attention, not to mention cleaning out cages and litter trays! Some animals are much more low-maintenance than others but all pets need to feel like they are part of the family.

Finances

Pets can be expensive. Even a goldfish needs a tank, filters, cleaning equipment and food. Costs associated with other types of pet include spaying/neutering fees, vet bills, dog walkers/pet sitters, collars and leashes, grooming and toys. You may wish to consider pet insurance, which covers certain trips to the vet for a monthly fee but alternatively, you’ll need to make sure you have enough cash set aside to cover any emergency trips to the vet.

Where to get your pet

A pet shop or breeder is often the most obvious place to purchase a pet but there is a lot to be said for adopting. There are plenty of different types of animals looking for a new forever home. Adoption centres will do their very best to match you with a pet that will fit in well with your family, making the transition easier for humans and animals alike.

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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